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Seeking Rehab: Researching and Speaking to a Counselor

Seeking Rehab: Researching and Speaking to a Counselor

A counselor has the unique opportunity to collaborate with a person in recovery

Choosing to step into rehab can be a daunting process, but learning the proper steps for researching and speaking to a counselor does not need to be a difficult process. There are several distinct steps or pathways to consider for rehab and multiple resources to consider as well.

Research Employee Assistance Programs

Most companies have employee assistance programs (EAPs), which are designed to provide employees with the resources necessary to address personal concerns that may affect job performance and productivity. EAPs provide educational resources for many different topics, ranging from mental health and caregiving for elderly parents to weight reduction and smoking cessation services. EAPs also provide education for addictive behaviors in the workplace. Beyond education, EAPs can offer referrals to appropriate rehabilitation services or counselors.

Many individuals are deeply concerned about negative perceptions or pushback when it comes to using an EAP. There is worry about the request for help with addiction being given to a supervisor, resulting in job loss. However, EAPs are in most circumstances bound to confidentiality. As a result, these programs are a great resource to consider for seeking a counselor in Des Moines.

Know Your Insurance Plans Provisions

The coverage for mental health and substance abuse services varies greatly from one insurance plan to another. This is equally true of commercial or private insurances and is particularly important with government insurances such as Medicare or Medicaid. Often there is a requirement for a preapproval or assessment prior to authorization for services of this nature, so it is especially important to call the customer service line associated with your insurance.

Beyond preauthorization concerns, your insurance provider will typically have counselors or rehabilitation programs that are in network and out of network. The cost of providers considered out of network is typically at least twice as much as those in network. While a counselor should never be chosen solely on the basis of cost, understanding the best financial impact of different counselors is definitely one consideration.

Strategic Roles of the Counselor in an Individual’s Recovery

The relationship between a counselor and an individual in recovery is a multi-faceted one, and it is important to gauge the likelihood of these roles being effective between you and a potential counselor. The counselor must be able to provide support and education along with confrontation but always maintain a stance of being non-judgmental. Several concepts are vital for a counselor to be effective include the following:

  • Empathy – Your potential counselor should be able to convey that there is an understanding of the difficulty the person in recovery is facing and that she ought not be embarrassed or ashamed by her struggles.
  • Therapeutic alliance – A counselor has the unique opportunity to collaborate with a person in recovery by applying a deep understanding of addiction to an individual’s circumstances. This alliance starts with a counselor who has a solid grip on the lifestyle, struggles and patterns of addiction. This expertise is then combined with the humility to understand that the best expert of the addict’s life is the addict, not the counselor. Once this balance has been effectively communicated, the individual in recovery will see that his counselor is his advocate, his support and his ally in moving toward a sober life in Des Moines.
  • Allowing for self-direction – Personal responsibility is one key to a successful recovery because no individual can escape an addiction without accepting her role in the addiction. A successful counselor is able to provide education when necessary because skills training and the development of healthier habits are part of the recovery process. However, at some point the individual in recovery must take responsibility for her own actions and apply the education provided to her by the counselor.

Unfortunately Bad Counselors Do Exist

Despite the increase of visibility to the counseling profession in general and the rise of internet tools to identify poor practices, poor counselors are still in practice. While you are considering a potential counselor, it is vital for you to keep a close eye out for any of these negative and ineffective practices:

  • Displaying an attitude of judgment toward your missteps
  • Blaming your for your addiction
  • Heaping shame or accusations upon you
  • Disrespecting you in tone of voice or physical proximity
  • Regularly being late or unavailable for scheduled appointments
  • Providing a great deal of personal details about his or her own life or experiences
  • A bias toward a recovery that mirrors his or her own recovery

An Unwillingness to Use a Counselor Can Lead Back to Addiction

You cannot underestimate the importance of the step you are now considering. Returning to your addiction is always a risk and one you must remain vigilant against in every way. And a counselor is a strong first step toward establishing a sober future for yourself.

The cost of returning to your addiction is too high. If this is where you are right now, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way in Des Moines.